WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

January 10, 2007
Contact: Dan Ayres, WDFW, (360) 249-4628
Barbara Maynes, ONP, (360) 565-3005

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Razor clam digs tentatively set
later this month and next

OLYMPIA – One ocean beach will open for razor clam digging this month, then reopen along with three other beaches for a dig in February under a tentative harvest plan announced by shellfish managers today.

Under that plan, Twin Harbors Beach will be open for evening razor clam digging Jan. 19-21 if marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat. As with previous digs this season, digging is allowed only during the hours between noon and midnight.

Twin Harbors Beach, stretching from the mouth of Grays Harbor to the mouth of Willapa Bay, has more razor clams available for harvest than any other state beach, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“This month’s opening is specifically designed to give diggers an opportunity to take advantage of the large number of clams still available at Twin Harbors,” Ayres said. “At most other beaches, we’re trying to conserve clams so there will still be some available for digs this spring.”

Clam diggers may, however, have a greater selection of beaches during the first two days of a three-day dig tentatively scheduled in February.

Four beaches – Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks and Kalaloch – will be open for digging Feb. 16 and 17 between noon and midnight if marine toxin tests are favorable. Twin Harbors will also remain open an additional day, Feb. 18, during the same hours if the test results allow the dig to proceed as planned.

As with this month’s proposed dig, Copalis Beach will remain closed in February because of the relatively low number of clams available for harvest there, Ayres said.

The National Park Service scheduled the dig at Kalaloch, which is within Olympic National Park, to coincide with those at the other beaches. Park Superintendent Bill Laitner strongly recommends carrying a lantern during evening digs – especially at Kalaloch Beach.

“Kalaloch is more remote than other clamming beaches in the state, and people should remember that there are no streetlights or lighted buildings in the area,” Laitner said. “Flashlights or lanterns are a must for all after-dark digs.”

Ayres said the best time to start digging at all open beaches is an hour or two before low tide, Ayres said. Evening low tides during digs tentatively scheduled this month and next are:

  • Jan. 19, Friday, 6:54 p.m., -0.6 ft., Twin Harbors only
  • Jan. 20, Saturday, 7:34 p.m., -0.6 ft., Twin Harbors only
  • Jan. 21, Sunday, 8:13 p.m., -0.4 ft., Twin Harbors only

  • Feb. 16, Friday, 5:47 p.m., -0.3 ft., Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Feb. 17, Saturday, 6:28 p.m., -0.5 ft., Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Feb. 18, Sunday, 7:08 p.m., -0.3 ft., Twin Harbors only

Under WDFW rules, harvesters may take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 taken, regardless of size or condition. Each digger's limit must be kept in a separate container.

A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Any 2006 annual shellfish/seaweed, razor clam or combination license is still valid. Licenses can be purchased via the Internet at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, by telephone (1-866-246-9453) or in person at more than 600 license vendors throughout the state. A list of vendors can be found at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lic/vendors/vendors.htm.

Locations of Washington’s razor-clam digging beaches are:

  • Long Beach, from the Columbia River north jetty to Leadbetter Point on the Long Beach Peninsula.

  • Twin Harbors, from the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor south to the mouth of Willapa Bay.

  • Mocrocks Beach, from the Copalis River to the Moclips River.

  • Kalaloch Beach, from South Beach Campground to Brown’s Point (just south of Beach Trail 3) in Olympic National Park. Visitors to the park are advised to consult area bulletin boards for park safety and other information.